Anti-Muslim views undercut Trump statement on Pulse shooting
line are now a thing of the past,” said the statement. “But Log Cabin Republicans have long emphasized that we are not a single-issue organization, nor are our members single-issue voters. Even if we were, rhetoric alone regarding LGBT issues does not equate to doctrine. As Mr. Trump spoke positively about the LGBT community in the United States, he concurrently surrounded himself with senior advisors with a record of opposing LGBT equality, and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called ‘First Amendment Defense Act’ that Log Cabin Republicans opposes.”
The group gave a “qualified” endorsement for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in October 2012, noting that, while he may not be the first choice for voters with LGBT issues as a priority, Romney was better qualified overall and not likely to “waste his precious time” in the White House with attacks on the community.
In early September 2008, Log Cabin’s board issued an enthusiastic endorsement of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, calling him an “inclusive Republican” who bucked his own party by voting against the anti-gay Federal Marriage Act.
Meanwhile, numerous LGBT groups have endorsed Clinton: the Human Rights Campaign, the Lesbian Political Action Committee, the Congressional LGBT Caucus political action committee, and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. She has also won the endorsement of several statewide LGBT political groups, including Equality California and Equality Pennsylvania.
She has the backing of prominent LGBT elected officials, such as former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and five of the six current LGBT members of the U.S. House (only Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona has not).
The campaign rollercoaster
Donald Trump’s most pro-LGBT moments in the two-year campaign came in reaction to the June 12 mass shooting this year at an LGBT nightclub called Pulse in Orlando. He immediately expressed sympathy over the 49 lives lost and 50 people injured. During his nationally televised acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention in July, he reiterated his concern to the GOP —a party whose platform has been notoriously hostile to equal rights for LGBT people.
“Only weeks ago, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist—this targeting the LGBTQ community. No good, and we’re gonna stop it,” said Trump. “As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful, foreign ideology– believe me.” Then, departing the text of his speech, Trump added, “And I have to say, as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just had to say. Thank you.”
But for many in the LGBT community, Trump’s statement of solidarity with the LGBT community was undercut by his insistence that the Orlando massacre was made possible because the U.S. allows Muslims,
October 28, 2016
who he said want to “murder gays,” to immigrate. Trump has called for a ban on allowing Muslims to enter the country (more recently, he’s called for “extreme vetting” of Muslims). Trump also confused and dismayed many by seeming to signal initial support of transgender people in the North Carolina HB2 (bathroom) controversy only to say later that the issue should be “left to the states.” And his repeated promise to appoint a Supreme Court nominee in the mold of Antonin Scalia, who had the most anti-gay voting record of any justice on the nation’s highest court, will not likely earn him any LGBT votes.
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly included words of support for LGBT equality in her stump speeches. She addressed the 2015 national dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, unabashedly putting herself on record —early in the primary season—as supporting numerous positions favored by LGBT voters. Among other things, she promised, “as president, I would push to cut off federal funding for any public child welfare agency that discriminates against LGBT people.” She visited Orlando to show solidarity with the LGBT community following the Pulse massacre.
On LGBT issues, she stumbled twice: Once by saying that Nancy Reagan had helped lead public support for the fight against AIDS and a second time by saying that President Bill Clinton signed the “Defense of Marriage Act” as a way to head off a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples. Internal campaign emails made public by WikiLeaks this month show that LGBT Democratic activists moved quickly to urge Clinton to correct the record on both of those statements. She did correct her remark concerning Reagan and apologized. She said her DOMA statement reflected her recollection of “private discussions” she participated in. In one of the leaked emails, a staffer said Clinton would “never approve a true walkback” of the comment.